Floating Restaurant Breaks Loose Carrying a Worker Downriver

Kentucky restaurant gives 'to-go' a whole new meaning

Restaurant on the Loose Floats Down River

Call it a new variation on a to-go order. A couple of workers at the Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant were taken by surprise when the floating establishment broke its moorings yesterday and sauntered a few hundred yards downriver, according to CNN.

It was a chilly morning (overnight lows hit 13 degrees, according to AccuWeather). The barge-based restaurant, which floats on the Ohio River, is tied to the Covington, KY shore and offers views of downtown Cincinnati. Suddenly the cables that tethered it to the shore began "popping and snapping," according to restaurant owner Jeff Ruby. A worker was walking the long ramp from the dock to the business when the dock end of the ramp dropped into the frigid waters. The worker got back up on the dock, but another one, already on board, was stuck for an hour until rescue workers could pull him off the vessel.

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The workers were repairing holes in the bottom of the boat, according to an interview maintenance worker Steve Poe gave to the Associated Press. Ice coming out of the river "piled up and it caused it to break loose," he said. "It was wild."

The restaurant floated out, spun around, and hit a nearby bridge, as CNN reported. It came to rest at the bridge, where "tug boats retrieved it," according to the Associated Press.

It may have given everyone a scare, but it couldn't have been a total surprise. As AP reported, in 2011, the restaurant broke free and drifted 100 feet downriver, only with 83 people aboard. All were safely rescued. The restaurant has been closed to the public since then.

Erik Sherman

Erik Sherman


Erik Sherman has written for the Wall Street Journal, Inc, Newsweek, the New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He's a regular contributor to CBS MoneyWatch and Inc.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman.

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David S.

Jeff Ruby (the owner) blamed ice in the river for tearing apart the ties to the restaurant.......sounds reasonable. That said, Ruby comes off a mafia wannabe and his brain has been fired by years of drug and alcohol abuse. I live in the area, and this guy is about as trustworthy as John Gotti....

February 09 2014 at 3:39 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David S.'s comment

plus he shot Oswald

February 09 2014 at 11:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I believe it was during a summer storm in 1969 that the Becky Thatcher restaurant boat broke loose from the St Louis riverfront and beached on the Illinois side. The Santa Maria replica broke loose and wound up at the bottom of the Mississippi River someplace (and couldn't be found).

February 09 2014 at 2:02 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Food and a Cruise for same low price,meal with a changing view,sounds great.

February 09 2014 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Global warming caused the whole thing.

February 09 2014 at 1:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


February 09 2014 at 1:15 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Makes one wonder why the restaurant why the thing is still being touted as a restaurant since it has been closed for three years.

February 09 2014 at 12:44 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wlh1923's comment

Whether open or closed a business is still a business. A closed lawyer's office is still a lawyer's office. You wouldn't say, "That's a closed beanery."

February 09 2014 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

im sure the ride was fun, dont get ya panties all bunched up now !

February 09 2014 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who's at fault? Either the tie-ups dockside broke or the tie-ups on the float didn't did not hold. This being the second time it happened..., I hope there is insurance.

February 09 2014 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It not the first time, it happened before with patrons on board. They need to get the moorings updated!

February 09 2014 at 9:15 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kwikrdrvr's comment

The place hasn't been open since 2011,,,,,,,,,,so worrying about customers being onboard is a moot point......

February 09 2014 at 9:54 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

food on the go

February 09 2014 at 7:12 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mwgreen's comment

Slow food restaurant to boot

February 09 2014 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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